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Emelisse Double IPA - Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse

Not Rated.
Emelisse Double IPAEmelisse Double IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

45 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 71
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse visit their website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wl0307 on 10-06-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Originally ABV was 9.0%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 71
Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy brownish amber in color and has lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of piney hops in the nose, along with some notes of caramel malts.
T: The initial taste is rather malty and slightly sweet with caramel notes and hints of butter, which is followed by flavors of citrusy and piney hops. There is a moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate; there is some dryness in the finish.
D: It's easy to consume this beer because it's not too bitter and there is a good balance between the malt and hop flavors. The alcohol is also very well hidden.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a lightly hazed Copper color. The head was minimal. Not much lacing either. The smell was hoppy and had a decent amount of malt. The taste gave off a pretty good hop flavor but nothing too intense like I was hoping for. The mouthfeel was smooth and lightly carbonated. Overall it's not too bad but there are better choices.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a cloudy amber color; the two finger head sticks boldly and leaves lace clinging to the sides of the pint glass

Smell: Very floral and pithy aroma with biscuity malt elements underneath

Taste: Opens biscuity with an immediate burst of pithy and floral hop that builds in an American fashion though the bitterness is held in check by the biscuity balance of the malts; citrusy finish with hints of balsa wood

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with creamy carbonation

Drinkability: Very American but distinctively different in a more balanced manner; really like the malt bill in this one

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.81/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Bilbo Baggins Stilwater/12% Imports dinner on Friday November 12, 2010. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a really nice ruby color with an off-white, single-finger head. Some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose is sweet amber malt plus some light booze. It's also mildly fruity.

The taste is quite a bit of alcohol that gets heavier as the beer warms. Burns my cheeks. There's some sweet malt there as well with a light cherry flavor. Some light earthy hops in there as well. Mouthfeel brings some booze and a slight bitterness. There's some cherry cough syrup character in the finish and it's a bit astringent. Overall, I'm not a fan.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy amber/orangey color ale with a medium size foamy head with good carbonation. Aroma consists of citrus and bitter hops with a caramel touch. Taste is a mix between some citrus, pine and bitter hops with notes of caramel malt with well balanced sweetness. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed but missing the hops punch associated with this style.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new Dutch brewer on the scene here in the U.S.Poured into a small tulip glass a hazed bronze with a burnt orange hue,a thin quick to fade white head atop,I like the chunkies and floaties swirling though.Aroma is deeply fruit and floral,slight citric qualities come thru as it warms,not American DIPA aromas,but pretty good.Flavors at first seem to be lighter on the big hops but as it warms they come out nicely,deeply fruit with some sweetish alcohol at first,some citric qualities come late and linger as well as a lighter resiny quality.This is a nice take on the style,give it time to warm to get all the different qualities out of it.

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Photo of nickfl
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - The beer pours with a small head of off-white foam on top of a very hazy, golden brown body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Pine, grapefruit, and a bit of caramel.

T - Sweet toffee with some floral hop notes up front. More musty hop flavors in the middle with pine and a hint of grapefruit. The beer finishes with more pine and toffee as well as fairly strong bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - I'm not impressed with this one, the malt is muddy and one dimensional and the hops are kind of rancid. The bitterness is harsh, yet it does little to push back against the cloying sweetness. A borderline drain pour.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Whole Foods in Tribeca. Didn't make the cut of beers to take back to Australia, so I drank it on my last night in New York.

Pours a very viscous and thick reddish amber colour, with a fine but patchy head of white. Body is really nice and thick and heavy, and I like a bit of deeper colour in a DIPA. Minimal lacing. Fine carbonation. Looks pretty good all up.

Nose is green and prickled with noble hops, giving a crushed vegetation character, with clipped grass and leafy tannins. Grainy malt character comes through as well, with a rustic funk that's almost like a saison. Interesting take.

Taste is clear and hoppy, without being really that bitter. It certainly has a kick to it, but this is probably the combination of low-alpha European varieties, and the extra sting of alcohol. A hint of phenols as well. Finish is rather sweet, with a golden malt character coming through stickily on the end. Feel is light but slick.

Not a bad brew all up, and an interesting European American IPA, as if that makes any sense. Let's call it an American IPA with European ingredients.

That still doesn't make sense, but I'll stand by it.

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Photo of John_M
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Don't get a lot on the nose, just some light earth and hoppy bitterness. Flavors generally replicate the nose, with some light sweet malt, countered by some noticeable bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a decent amount of flavor and fairly long finish. Drinkability is OK, though there's some noticeable alcohol at the end that detracts from it just a bit.

While nothing special, this is a pleasant, easy to appreciate DIPA, that is very much in the British IPA style.

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Photo of wl0307
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased at the BSF bar, GBBF 2009, this bottle-conditioned ale comes in a short, slim brown bottle (likely 300ml); bottled on 11 June 2009, served mildly chilled in Orval's broad-rimmed chalice. NOTE: ingredients include biscuit malt, pale malt, Fuggles and Amarillo hops; at 80 EBU.

A: pours a translucent, dark amber hue with very fine carbonation in action, topped with a nice foamy light beige froth, leaving even sheets of lacing as it slowly retreats.
S: the bottle-conditioning yeasts have apparently clouded the aroma in the most aggressive way, rendering a dense aura of sour/oxidised pears & citric fruits plus sour breadiness, on top of a relatively restrained cake-ish+biscuity malt base. The Amarillo and Fuggles hops as described on the front label are nowhere to be found, susceptibly buried underneath the yeasty layer... In a way, the smell reminds me of a few yeasty and super strong, poorly bottle-conditioned barley wines that I've tasted in southern England!
T: quite like the aroma, the creamy-effervescent foretaste is full of sour pears+apples, sour bread, sour lactose drink, and cake-ish/syrupy malt (as in a traditional barley wine) - not quite unpleasant, but very different from one's expectation of a "DIPA"... After the creamy & thick swallow gradually settles, a light stream of orangey-citric hop juice ensues along with a soothingly bitter, zesty-tangy and lightly earthy undertone of hops... In turn, as the flavour evaporates, the bitterness sets in and deepens to result in a somewhat rough, chewy and dry palate in the finish, as the belated reminder of some depth of hops (EBU 80).
M&D: despite being refreshing with creamy carbonation and much lighter in body than the 9%abv. leads one to believe, the unsettled yeast sediments in the bottle have undoubtedly compromised the performance of flavour big time... What's left to be enjoyed is the minimum one would expect from a high-gravity and supposedly heavily-hopped "Double IPA" - its chewy bitter undertones in the finish. Apart from this, the flavour simply fails to deliver other good elements amidst the intervention of yeast sediments. What a shame. Maybe a (roughly) filtered or draught version of this ale might taste much better, hopefully?

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark, somewhat cloudy orange amber. Light head and light lacing. Nice almost barley wine like aroma; sweet malt, pine and citrus hops. Hops with a light malt, pine and citrus flavors. Rather mellow at first then finishes with a sharp, spicy hop surge. A pleasant IPA, but not surpassing the best domestic IPAs.

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Photo of avalon07
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an amber color and a thick, cloudy texture. Lots of floaties and sediment visible. Zero head. Zero lacing.

S: A pleasant, if somewhat underwhelming aroma of hops, citrus, a little malt.

T: Tasted like it smelled. Hops, grapefruit, and some malt. Mainly, it's on the thin and watery side, not powerful enough to grab your attention.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: It seems most European brewerys (Mikkeller excluded) cannot get the American double/Imperial IPA style right. Emelisse is no exception.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Following is my recent review on the bottle version of the beer:

After seeing what some other breweries in north western Europe are doing with American Style IPA's and double IPA's I was very excited to to try this beer. I had a bottle of it at dbgb in Manhattan's lower east side. This was a very good beer and one I enjoyed very much. Lightish color, great hop aroma, flavor is good but a little on the strong side. I hope to come across this again soon.


Agreed about the draft version. A very good double IPA that brings its own interesting characteristics to the style. Again, high alcohol does effect the balance but overall a very good double.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht, I think.

From a bottle into a snifter.

Note: Lable art doesn't match the one pictured above. Morevoer, this bottle is labled at 9%. Perhaps there is a difference in the domestic and export version.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger off-white medium-thick looking head with great retention. Burnt umber brown in color, opaque, with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good cap and a ring, clinging to the sides. A good wisp remains, and leaves lots of lacing down the glass. Good looking brew.

SMELL: Pale malts and biscuit notes there too. A relatively mild and malty nose for the style. Slight floral hop notes make an appearance, but not an overly hoppy interpretation.

TASTE: Pale malts and biscuit once again, as well as some sweet grainy malt notes. Finishes with a touch of floral hops and a bit of bitterness for balance. Aftertaste is quite balanced with some sweet grainy malt before an assault of bitter hops that just linger and linger. A very bitter finish on this, which is perhaps its saving grace.

PALATE: Medium-thick body, creamy smooth on the palate, and a little oily slick too. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth coating.

OVERALL: I'm quite glad Emelisse has decided to begin brewing more interesting beer. They certainly show potential, what with their wonderful imperial stout and this attempt at an American style DIPA. However, this one, though an enjoyable brew in its own right, is not quite up to snuff. It is a little too malt heavy for the style, and perhaps too heavy on the biscuit malt as well. Moreover, a bigger hop presence, both in the nose and the taste profile, is needed to really bring it up to par. That said, this is an enjoyable brew worth checking out in its own right, but just don't expect a huge citrusy, piny hop bomb of a DIPA.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of 2011 purchased from the Charleston Beer Exchange.. ABV says 7.5% on bottle, this is 2011

A - Pours a rich amber with little very fine off-white head into my Deadlift glass, I expect some good carbonation here - surprisingly nice lacing

S - Smell is slightly bitter, very fruity/yeasty with alcohol present. Distinct honey and nutty aromas

T - Very nice, bitter (especially up front) very fruity and refreshing. Sweet maltyness and honey, "a bit nutty"

M - Medium bodied, a little light for the style but that makes this thing very drinkable.

O - Very well balance, nice and crisp, super drinkable - really like this one, if it was less I could put quite a few of these back - well worth it though, very good!

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label design isn't the one currently pictured on BA: this one shows hop vines floating above a brewery building (apparently a brewery anyway). Also, it reads "11%" on the bottle, not 9%. But Emelisse doesn't make another Double IPA, so here it goes.

Looks the part, showing a fluffy off-white head (doesn't last very long before making a bubbly crown and patchy skim). Color is hazed rust-orange/red.

Aroma is fine, but not really to style. Reminds me very much of Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, which brings a toasty element along with the hop spiciness, and the hops smell very much like S.N.'s favored Cascade variety. A bit muted for the style they're shooting for.

Flavor could be cleaned up, it's a bit indistinct, but closer to style than the nose: gooey, creamy caramel bigness with a grassy, bitter hop element. A bit spicy from the alcohol/hop union, which is nice, and has an overall raw/homebrew sort of vibe. Alcohol flares just a little bit, mostly with warming, and a grassy astringency dominates the finish, although it's not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is very good--round, chewy, creamy, a bit of stick and just enough carbonation to keep it lively. Just shy of the transcendent "oomph" that would make it a 4.5 or 5.

If Emelisse really wanted to do it the American way, they wouldn't toss this into 10 ounce bottles. C'mon, who wants anything less than a 12 oz. bottle of beer? My reasonable-sized-bottle soapbox aside, this is a decent take on the style, but nothing compared to other European brewers who have taken the American big-beer bull by the horns...like, say, Mikkeller. This one's definitely worth a shot though, and any European brewery looking to the U.S. for guidance deserves at least a little support. The tables were turned for too long--it's nice to see this kind of reciprocation/reverse-influence taking place.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Well, this is probably one of the ugliest DIPA's I've ever had. Pours a murky reddish brown color with a fairly thin tannish colored head. Head turns into a ring of bubbles and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Caramel malts are really jumping out at me. Picking up some yeast, bread, and toffee too. A light touch of hops, mainly herbal, piney and flowery. So far this isn't reminding me of an IPA let alone a DIPA.

T- Well, its better than the nose. Picking up some hop bitterness. Still quite a bit of sweetness, toffee and caramel. Floral hops are here for sure. I actually don't mind the taste it all goes together pretty well.

M- A touch on the fuller side of medium and lighter on the carbonation.

O- This beer is ugly and doesn't really smell like a DIPA, but it does taste pretty solid. This isn't something I'd seek out, but its not the worst thing out there either.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark Amber, a touch hazy with a decent white head that lasts ok. Fair retention.
S- Aroma is earthy hops with a touch of citrus. The malt comes through but it brings more of a caramelness than anything else.
T- It's ok with big earthy hops, but there is only one note more or less in it. There is some sweetness too, but that's about it.
M- Medium bodied, nicely smooth, covers up the 11% pretty well.
O- It's a different take on the IIPA than you would see in many American examples. But it's still worth a try.

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Photo of farrago
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much more than a finger's worth of head but what's there is dense with very good retention, dark tan color, average stick to the lacing. Impenetrably opaque brown to orange murk, like a muddy creek with lots of clay in the soil composition, this said, you can find some bubbles floating upwards in there. The nose goes super-heavy on the malts, caramel, toffee, chocolate ice cream, fruitcake, raisin bread, creamed coffee, then comes the hops with pine sap, peat moss, coal tar, all of this edgy in stark contrast to the malts, somewhere along the way the fruit, flowers and citrus must have been lost. Full-bodied, sappy to the point of getting heavy and losing forward progression. Here, the bitterness of the hops leaps out first, no doubting it's a DIPA on that score. Of course, this is not to diminish the power of the malty caramel, chocolate, coffee flavors as well as the sweet breadiness. Maybe you get some apricot or peach here but not much. The pine manages to tease out some orange zest. Its weight never releases and it gets kind of tough to drink, luckily it's not even a 12oz bottle. Reach exceeds its grasp.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this bottle while in Amsterdam. Poured into a tulip. Opaque rust color. A crisp white head is 1 finger in size and fades to a ring through the rest of the session.

Smelled of earthy hops, but there's just as much sweet malt in there to throw you a bit as you compare this to American IPAs you've had. The malt reminds me of dutch stroop; caramel with marmite and molasses notes.

The taste serves up an oily, earthy hop profile along with caramel sugar that interplay with each back and forth until the hops prevail, leaving you with a heavy dose of bitterness that lasts long on the finish.

Full body yet with a crisp snap on the tongue.

Overall pretty good, and very interesting. However, what makes it unique might be seen as a muddled unfocused recipe. Good enough to try.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beer Temple in Amsterdam - poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: Copper hue with a decent head with small amounts of lacing in my glass.

S: Smells just like a good Cali IPA, with just a bit more maltiness.

T: Real resinous floral hoppy flavor with a nice clean bitter finish; prevalent sweet roasted malts in there too that work nice with the bitter hops - extremely well balanced and tasty.

M: Medium-bodied and well carbonated, smooth on the palate with a real clean finish.

D: Real easy to drink, but after two I was feeling like I needed to back off and start drinking something with a lesser ABV - they'll get up on you quick!

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Photo of kjyost
2.66/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very different looking bottle received in CanBIF 2012. Thanks phyl21ca! 12 oz bottle date notched BB end of 09/12. Poured into a wine glass at 4 C.

Pours a minimal head with OK retention and light lacing. Copper brew that is clear until the bottle sediment pours. Doh! Malty nose and body with hints of sweet caramel. Bitterness that is well balanced, though utterly lacking hop flavours and aromas. More a barleywine than a DIPA at this point. I guess "BB" is relative. Sampled July 1, from notes.

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3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10.14 oz bottle (300 mL, that is) to an oversized wine glass. There are lot numbers and dates on the label, but nothing is ticked off. Also, my bottle indicates 11% ABV and the label is slightly different.

A: One finger head diminishes quickly and provides spare lacing. The body is a medium dark orange, hazy if not murky or muddy, with plenty of floating yeast particles. I love a rich looking, unfiltered DIPA, but this is not one of the most attractive brews I've seen.

S: Above average malt content, toasted nuts, biscuits and cookie, relatively sweet. The hops include flowers, herbs, resin and citrus but the overall intensity may be below average for a DIPA. The yeast is more of a visual reminder than what actually comes through on the nose and palate, with faint hints of dough and barnyard.

T: Additional flavors of baked apple and pear, honey, plus some dark fruit in the end. The flavor is lightly sweet, the duration is long and there is a faint sour component as well. Only light alcohol comes through which is impressive given the 11% ABV. The taste IS actually very similar to the American Double IPA (which is given tribute on the label), although the similarities are more in line with the baseline or below average example rather than the premier. I appreciate the European influence on this brew however since American DIPAs are more than abundant over here.

M: Medium-full with a creamy texture, average carbonation and a heavily bitter finish.

D: A respectable effort for sure, but I don't see myself going out of my way for another in the near future.

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Photo of meatyard
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, hazy, reddish/amber with a short off-white head that has decent retention and lots of lace. There are also lots of little black floaties and chunks of it on the bottom.
The smell is some citrus (grapefruit) hops and some sweet malt.
The taste is lemon zest to start, sweet malt flavor and a long drawn out bitterness that was more than I expected.
Mouthfeel is nicely full leaning towards medium.
I think the drinkability is very good even with the 9% ABV that is hardly noticeable. More balanced than even the average east coast style of DIPA it's a pleasant drink but too expensive for more than the very occasional try.

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Photo of shivtim
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap at churchkey in DC. Deep brown. Slight ringy head. Orange/red tint.

Nose has hints of sour citrus. Hops and ethanol. Belgian leanings. Slightly nutty.

Taste is hops, citrus, syrupy. Sour. Lingering hop profile.

Interesting. Doesn't come off like a double IPA. Unique.

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Emelisse Double IPA from Bierbrouwerij Grand-Café Emelisse
84 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.